Barlow Backpack Review From Herschel – Should You Buy It?

I just received the new Herschel Barlow Backpack in the mail. I received the product from Herschel in exchange for an unbiased honest review of this design.

It comes in Peacoat, Black, and White. You can either get it at HerschelSupply.com or Amazon.com. I won’t list all of the product specifications on here, so make sure you go through one of those links if you are really interested in purchasing the Barlow Backpack.

This is a brand new backpack design for the Fall of 2016.

Before writing this review, I made sure that I wore it empty and with items inside. I walked around with it on and made sure I was aware of all of the features. I think I have a good grasp of what the Barlow Backpack is all about.

Barlow Backpack

Black Barlow Backpack

Who is The Barlow Backpack For?

This Herschel Supply Co. Design is for both men and women. I was surprised that it seemed small to me when I received it. I am 6’2. But that wasn’t the case. The straps are very adjustable and I could see just about anyone being able to use the Barlow Backpack.

It fits high on my back since I am taller than average. But it doesn’t look out of place despite this.

I think it definitely is marketed towards students in college, a day pack for walking around the city, or a stylish backpack you could take to work.

This is what I like about this backpack. It can fit a wide variety of needs and a wide variety of people.

And it’s brand new. There currently isn’t a single review on Amazon(As of 9/20/2016).

What do I like about the Barlow Backpack

Flexibility and Comfort

This is the obvious feature that sticks out to me. It is a very flexible backpack made out of Cordura Nylon(All the materials used for backpacks are listed on my homepage). Cordura Nylon is a very good material because it is abrasion resistant, tear resistant, and mostly water resistant. And it’s very flexible. I can literally bend the backpack some. This is what you want. You don’t want a backpack that is stiff and causes you to be uncomfortable.

The padding on the backside of the backpack and the straps is top notch as well. You won’t feel any discomfort on your back or shoulders no matter how much weight you are carrying inside.

Barlow Backpack Backside

Look at the padding on the backside

Water Bottle Pockets

This is a feature that everyone wants on every single backpack. But it seems like it is never there! I’ve reviewed and looked over tons of reviews of many backpacks. One of the main complaints is that the water bottle pocket on the sides is either to small for the water bottle, or there is only one pocket. The Barlow Backpack has two micro-meshed water bottle pockets that can fit any reasonably sized water bottle. This is extremely convenient for whatever you decide to use the backpack for.

Water Bottle Pockets - Barlow Backpack

Micro-Mesh Water Bottle Pockets

The Dimensions of the Barlow

The dimensions are listed as 19.5″ H X 10.5″ W X 6.5″ D. This is an average sized backpack. However, I did an experiment to see how much I can actually fit inside of the pack. The results were that I could fit 13 decent sized books inside of the backpack and still close the drawstring. The backpack stretched all the way to 11 3/4 inches in depth. The backpack allows for greater space inside then you would imagine just by looking at it.

Barlow Backpack - Stuffed Full of Books

Made for a laptop

This isn’t a laptop backpack by any means. But Herschel still included a laptop sleeve on the backside of the backpack to fit a 13′ laptop. A lot of backpacks have this feature. The feature that was added to keep your laptop safe is the 210D Nailhead Dobby nylon with premium reinforced base. This little bit of padding could be the difference in breaking a laptop by setting it down on the ground to hard. It’s just enough padding to make a difference.

Rip Stop Nylon Rain Cover

A cool feature added is the rip stop nylon rain cover that you can pull out of the bottom zipper easily. It literally takes you less than 10 seconds to pull it out and cover the whole backpack. The Barlow Backpack already has 1,500mm water-resistant coating, and so this is just another way to keep it completely dry. Rip stop nylon is an excellent material for the rain cover because if you are to rip the cover, it won’t rip all the way through. It will only rip a couple inches and then stop.

Rip Stop Rain Cover On Barlow Backpack

Rip Stop Nylon rain cover that comes from the bottom zipper

It’s a very easy backpack to use

There are some backpacks that I have reviewed like the Osprey Aether 70, that are actually very complicated to use. The Barlow Backpack is simple. You have a main compartment with a laptop sleeve. The main compartment closes with the drawstring, and then you can snap the head cover over top to the front of the backpack. It has two flexible water bottle pockets. There are four straps (two on each side) on the side of the backpack that allow you to carry an item on the side of your backpack if you like. And then there is a zipper pocket in the head cover and the very bottom of the backpack that holds the rain cover.  A few of the overlooked features are the internal multi-loop webbing utility strap, the key chip, and the key chain holder on the inside of the backpack.

That’s it! You won’t have any trouble figuring out how to use the Barlow Backpack.

What I don’t like about the Barlow Backpack

Pockets

I would prefer to have more pockets. There really is only one pocket. The bottom pocket is taken up by the rain cover. So you are limited to either the head cover pocket or sticking items in your water bottle pockets. It would be nice if there was a interior pocket fit for your cell phone and wallet or a front zipper pocket.  I personally like to have a lot of pockets on my backpacks.

Style

Okay. I’m not extremely impressed or too excited by the looks of this backpack. It’s just a basic backpack looks wise. It’s not very flashy at all. But this isn’t a big deal if you value functionality over looks. I received the Black color of the backpack, but I think the Peacoat looks the best out of the three options.  But then again, Herschel Supply Co.  is one of the most well known brands for stylish vintage backpacks.  Just having the name patch on the backpack brings it up a notch.

Peacoat Barlow Backpack

 

Should you purchase the Barlow Backpack from Herschel Supply. Co

I think you should definitely do your research and see if there are any comparable products on the market. This is definitely an excellent product. But for $109.99, you might be able to wait a little bit to get a better deal on this design. And you might find another product that is a little bit older of a design that would be more suitable for you.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a VERY functional backpack that will last you for years to come because of the way it is made. And it has the functionality to fit your needs in a variety of endeavors.

I am happy that I received this backpack and will definitely use it for day to day activities. If you have any specific questions that I haven’t addressed, please email me at matt.mcclanahan@vintagebackpacks.net.

Compare the price on both Amazon and Herschel Supply Co.’s website, and look at the product specifications for more information.


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